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Earnings Roundup

November 20, 2009

DELL

PC maker's net income drops 54%

Dell Inc. said Thursday that net income dropped 54% in the third quarter amid signs the company isn't fully benefiting from the computer industry's fledgling recovery.

Dell's numbers missed Wall Street's forecasts, and the shares fell almost 6% in extended trading.

The Round Rock, Texas, company lost its ranking as the world's No. 2 personal computer maker during the quarter, a slot now held by Taiwan's Acer Inc. Dell rivals such as Acer and Hewlett-Packard Co. have taken market share in part by exploiting their bigger presence in stores.

Dell gets 80% of its business from corporations, government agencies and other large institutions, which have remained hesitant to spend money on new technology.

Dell's profit fell to $337 million, or 17 cents a share, in the quarter ended Oct. 30, compared with $727 million, or 37 cents, a year earlier. Revenue fell 15% to $12.9 billion.

Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected the company to earn 28 cents a share on $13.2 billion in revenue in the latest quarter.

Dell shares fell 92 cents to $14.95 in extended trading after the earnings report.

GAP

Old Navy sales help boost profit

Shoppers spent more money at low-price Old Navy stores in the third quarter, helping Gap Inc.'s profit climb 25% compared with last year.

Sales in Old Navy stores open at least a year rose 10% after sliding for two years.

Gap said it earned $307 million, or 44 cents a share, in the quarter ended Oct. 31, compared with $246 million, or 35 cents, a year earlier.

The San Francisco clothing chain's overall sales climbed 0.8% to $3.59 billion. In addition to its namesake stores and Old Navy, Gap owns Banana Republic, Piperlime and Athleta.

Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters expected Gap to earn 43 cents a share on sales of $3.59 billion.

Gap retooled Old Navy to better cater to frugal mothers and repositioned it with new in-store marketing and more practical merchandise -- and new advertising -- to bring customers back to the chain.

Gap shares declined 28 cents, or 1.3%, to $21.58

-- times wire reports

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